July 26, 2016, 11:51 AM

Secrets of Amazon’s Prime Day success

Amazon not only sold $2.5 billion worth of goods, it introduced Prime members to new services. How should rivals compete in 2017?

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Amazon.com Inc. not only increased its worldwide sales 60% on Prime Day this month versus the inaugural summer sales event last year, it accounted for an astounding 74% of U.S. online purchases on July 12, the day of this year’s promotion, according to Slice Intelligence.

Little wonder Amazon says it will do it again next year. Now the question for competitors is: What do we do about it?

Industry experts offer widely divergent advice, according to a new report titled “Amazon Prime Day 2016: Winners, Losers and How to Prepare for 2017,” from the editors of Internet Retailer.

Ignore Prime Day, suggests Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research. “Retailers aren't strategizing on how to capitalize on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale,” she says. “Prime Day is still perceived as a proprietary sale by Amazon for its customers.”

Plan far in advance, and seek to buy the items you intend to promote at discounted prices, says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner, RSR Research.

How about retailers joining forces to create their own midsummer event to undercut Amazon’s event? “A Black Friday-like sale in the summer, like Half Way Day (182 days into the year) or the Summer Solstice,” suggests Hayley Silver, vice president of the Bizrate Insights unit of marketing firm Connexity. That would emulate Shop.org’s initiative in 2005 to brand the Monday after Thanksgiving as Cyber Monday, and making that a big online sales day, says Ken Cassar, principal analyst at Slice Intelligence.

Whatever retailers decide to do, they need to acknowledge the impact of Prime Day. Data in the report documents the massive traffic lift Amazon got from Prime Day, as it attracted more than twice as many visits to Amazon.com as visits to eBay.com, Walmart.com and Target.com put together, according to data from Hitwise, a division of Connexity, contained in the new report.

“Amazon Prime Day has come out of nowhere to become one of the biggest online sales days of the year,” says Jack Love, publisher of Internet Retailer. “Our award-winning team of journalists covered it intensively from Amazon’s announcement June 30 through the event July 12, including the strategies of Amazon, marketplace sellers and competitors. We’ve compiled our reporting and analysis with the data from several data partners to provide a comprehensive look at this big e-commerce event—and released it within two weeks of Prime Day while everyone is still trying to evaluate its impact.”

“Amazon Prime Day 2016: Winners, Losers and How to Prepare for 2017,” from the editors of Internet Retailer, includes:

  • Data on Amazon, Amazon marketplace sellers and major rivals, including website traffic, sales, social sentiment, email marketing, website performance, consumer response.
  • Examples of marketing email from Amazon and major rivals around Prime Day.
  • Insights from Amazon marketplace sellers and how they prepared for Prime Day and their results.
  • An exclusive consumer survey on how they shopped on Prime Day.
  • How to prepare for Prime Day 2017: Industry experts provide advice for retailers and brands.

For information on how to obtain a copy of “Amazon Prime Day 2016: Winners, Losers and How to Prepare for 2017,” click here.

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